“Oh, for a muse of fire ….”   2 comments

“Always be a poet, even in prose ….”

Charles Baudelaire

Many Second Life bloggers, including us at Around the Grid, do more than just shoot pretty pictures of pretty clothes or wonderful builds. We also try to talk about what we’re photographing, and we like to add quotes to further help along the story.

The first blogger I recall using quotes was my friend and “namesake,” Harper Beresford. She hasn’t published very regularly since about 2016, as far as I can see; but, when she does, there’s usually a quote of some kind in the text that catches your attention. Many other bloggers have done so over the years; for instance, Anne Daumig at The Wanton Wardrobe makes the quote her entire text, aside from the product list.

One source we’ve been using lately at AtG is the Web site for Poetry Magazine. I’ve known about Poetry for years in print form (I’m a trained librarian, remember, and I worked at college in the periodicals department), but I’ve visited their Web site on occasion since about 2012, when the magazine celebrated its 100th anniversary. They did a cover every month of that year with Pegasus, the symbol of divine inspiration; I chose the January issue to keep on my desk (so to speak [grin]) as a reminder that Real World arts reaches into the Second Life, and that the humanities is more than just prose and visual arts.

Poetry is just a few years shy of its 110th anniversary now, and it’s outlasted any other attempt made to publish interesting verse in the English language. For years, until a bequest by the estate of Ruth Lilly, its finances were, to say the least, living on a tightrope — writing and publishing poetry has never been an insanely profitable enterprise, even in the days of the bards. The publishers and editors have persisted like Elizabeth Warren, though, their mission to bring to attention the best in verse, both old and new, and to show there’s more to poetry than 19th-century romanticism, especially in America. You can learn more of the magazine’s history at their site.

The publishers have done a truly excellent thing, which draws me back time and time again to their site — they have placed their entire issue archive online for free. This brings an extraordinarily deep reservoir of work out into the widest possible availability, and I’ve been using it lately for my pieces here on the blog. I encourage you to stop by their site and browse through this collection, as well as searching by keywords for poems that may strike you as useful … or just for your own personal reading and enrichment. Remember that Goethe said, among the things we should do each day, is read a good poem. It gives you something to think about besides the depressing cadences of the news and Facebook.

2 responses to ““Oh, for a muse of fire ….”

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  1. I’d offer a few Canadian examples, but nothing I’ve found so far has an archive online. (And, of course, they aren’t nearly as old.)

  2. A very nice resource to have! Having a librarian on tap helps, too (laughing).

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